Meet Carmella, a 2014 Hope Academy Graduate. Below is a recent update she shared with us. We are so proud of you, Carmella!
“My favorite memory is a talk with Dr. Z. I had relapsed and felt so defeated in myself. We talked for a long time, and that talk made a huge difference in my life and recovery. He shared a lot of his life story and really made me feel like I could recover. I went into that talk thinking he was going to lecture me, and maybe I’d even be suspended. I left feeling like I had a chance at life.
Hope made me feel like I wasn’t alone, that there were other teenagers in recovery. I didn’t fit in at a regular high school because I was in recovery, and I didn’t always fit in at NA/AA because of my age. It was nice that every teacher and staff there understood addiction and all of the challenges that came with it.
They didn’t think I was a bad kid or bad student, they understood I was sick. Hope is probably the biggest reason I recovered. Before going to Hope my high school advisor told me I should drop out and that “school wasn’t for everyone.”
Since graduating from Hope I became an EMT and QMA (Qualified Medication Aide). I bought my own house when I was 20. I’m in a long-term relationship and we have two amazing kids and one on the way. I currently work as a QMA on a memory care unit. I’m in college and I’m working towards my RN degree.
I have a 3.89 GPA and I’m in the honor society and I am still active in my recovery. Everything in my life I have, I have because I am clean. My kids have never known anything but a clean and sober mother, and it’s my biggest goal that that is all they will ever know. December 2021 I will have 6 years. My advice to anyone at Hope is if you’re still alive it’s not too late. Life really does get better, but you have to put in the work.”